Category Archives: Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

August Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Hi fitness folks! Do you know the answer to the August S&C research review questions? If not, you ought to subscribe to our research review service. To subscribe, just click on the button below and follow the instructions…


Strength & Conditioning, Power and Hypertrophy

  1. Does supra-maximal eccentric training transfer to sports performance?
  2. Does high-velocity eccentric strength reduce less with increasing age?
  3. Can plyometrics improve sprint running times in trained sprinters?
  4. Is there a box height that maximizes power output during drop jumps?
  5. Does rate of force development predict vertical jump performance in trained athletes?
  6. Do upper- and lower-body strength tests predict punching force in elite amateur boxers?
  7. Is resisted sprinting better than sprinting for improving sprint times in team sports athletes?
  8. Does improving maximal strength enhance change of direction (COD) performance?
  9. Does the order of strength and cardio during concurrent training affect muscular adaptations?
  10. Does protein supplementation enhance muscular adaptations in brief periods of training?
  11. Does altering protein distribution affect gains in muscular size in a rugby athletes?
  12. How does periodization affect gains in muscular strength, size and power?
  13. Does cycling increase thigh muscle size?
  14. What is the age of peak competitive performance in elite athletes of different sports?


Biomechanics & Motor Control

  1. How similar are the strongman log lift and the Olympic clean and jerk exercises?
  2. Why is there an optimal load for power during squats?
  3. Why are cluster sets of squats superior for force production and power output?
  4. Which hamstring rehabilitation exercises produce the most muscle activity?
  5. How do bilateral and unilateral row exercises affect back and core muscle activity?
  6. How does arm position affect core muscle activity during the Ab wheel rollout exercise?
  7. How do touchdown distance and ankle dorsiflexion affect sprint running performance?
  8. How does posture affect gluteus medius muscle activity during lateral band walks?
  9. Can sarcomere non-uniformity explain the residual force enhancement effect?
  10. Can titin explain the residual force enhancement effect?
  11. Could the residual force enhancement effect contribute to stretch-shortening cycle actions?
  12. What are the determinants of the force-velocity relationship at the sarcomere level?


Anatomy, Physiology & Nutrition

  1. Is intermittent fasting beneficial for health?
  2. Is deliberately targeting hormesis an effective strategy for exercise adaptations?
  3. What causes anabolic resistance?
  4. Can vitamin supplementation reduce hypertrophy after strength training?
  5. Do specific tension and voluntary activation reduce with age?
  6. Is resting metabolic rate altered in order to maintain energy balance during physical activity?
  7. Is the adaptive thermogenesis response effective for weight loss?
  8. Does resistance training increase resting metabolic rate?
  9. Do whey protein- or sucrose-enriched water beverages affect satiety?
  10. Does high-intensity interval training without weight loss improve insulin sensitivity?
  11. Does physical activity affect vascular insulin sensitivity?
  12. Does increasing fruit and vegetable intake improve cardiovascular risk factors?


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation

  1. Do nerve growth factor injections affect pain in muscle and fascia similarly?
  2. Do foam rolling and dynamic stretching affect flexibility similarly in trained athletes?
  3. Can myofascial release with a tennis ball affect balance in chronic stroke patients?
  4. Is dry needling effective for myofascial trigger point pain?
  5. Does pain education enhance outcomes in dry needling treatment for chronic low back pain?
  6. What methods are effective for managing iliotibial band syndrome?
  7. Does low back pain affect changes in piriformis size in-season among trained athletes?
  8. Is gluteus maximus strength associated with superior movement patters in landing tasks?
  9. How important are placebo effects?
  10. What factors affect pelvic girdle stability and the development of posterior pelvic girdle pain?
  11. How are innominate movement patterns related to sacroiliac joint pain?
  12. Is eccentric exercise effective for shoulder impingement or lateral epicondylar tendinopathy?

July Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Hi fitness folks! Do you know the answer to the July S&C research review questions? If not, you ought to subscribe to our research review service. To subscribe, just click on the button below and follow the instructions…


Strength & Conditioning, Power and Hypertrophy

  1. Are 2 or 3-way split training routines best for bodybuilders?
  2. Is accommodating resistance training better than constant-weight training for strength?
  3. Is blood flow restriction training beneficial for athletes?
  4. Is greater hypoxia better than moderate hypoxia during resistance training for strength?
  5. Can resistance training help reduce measures of pain?
  6. How can we overcome the sticking point in resistance training exercises?
  7. Is 1RM testing with multiple exercises in a single session reliable?
  8. Do supersets allow more volume to be performed than straight sets?
  9. Can “repetitions in reserve” be used for measuring relative load?
  10. What is the optimal load for maximal power production during common lower-body exercises?
  11. Does flexibility exercise affect running economy?
  12. Can electrically-induced muscle cramps cause hypertrophy of calf muscles?


Biomechanics & motor control

  1. Does external focus improve jumping by improving movement skill not force production?
  2. How does footwear affect jumping performance?
  3. What is the optimum drop height for maximizing power output in drop jumps?
  4. Is the relationship between muscular strength and size affected by whether the muscle is relaxed or contracted when measured?
  5. Does muscle length affect eccentric torque production?
  6. Can rate of force development explain throwing performance in track and field athletes?
  7. Can a simple field test be used to measure ground reaction forces during sprint running?
  8. How much do the early, middle and late phases of accelerating sprint running differ?
  9. Can back squats with accommodating resistance potentiate sprint running ability?
  10. Does a set involving more repetitions lead to greater muscle activity than a set with fewer repetitions, even when the same time under tension is used?
  11. Does the distribution of motor units differ along the length of the rectus femoris?
  12. Does strength at long muscle lengths differ between very flexible and less flexible athletes?
  13. How does prior hamstring strain injury affect muscle activity during the Nordic curl?
  14. Do novices use a more kyphotic lifting posture than experienced lifters in straight-leg lifting?


Anatomy, physiology & nutrition

  1. What are the main signaling pathways controlling muscle mass?
  2. How does mechanical load affect muscle protein turnover?
  3. Is mTOR is necessary for satellite cell activity?
  4. How do nutrition and exercise affect muscle mass in the elderly?
  5. How does missing affect daily energy intake and evening exercise performance?
  6. How does calorie restriction affect energy expenditure in overweight females?
  7. Could exercise and estrogen affect the function of fat cells?
  8. Does muscular endurance training alter voluntary activation levels?
  9. Does fatigue in one leg affect the strength and balance of the contralateral leg?
  10. Are the supportive ingredients in multi-ingredient performance supplements effective?


Physical therapy & rehabilitation

  1. Does whole-body vibration affect blood flow and muscle oxygenation?
  2. Does whole body vibration improve athletic performance?
  3. Are the EMG signals recorded during vibration exercise real or artifacts?
  4. Does the sympathetic nervous system innervate muscle spindles?
  5. Is muscle spindle activity triggered by vibrations and not by length changes?
  6. What is the role of muscle spindles in limb position sense?
  7. Which factors differentiate athletes with hip/groin pain from those without?
  8. Can isometric exercise effect analgesia in individuals with patellar tendinopathy?
  9. Is valgus collapse the primary mechanism of ACL injury?
  10. How does stride rate affect patellofemoral forces during running?
  11. What causes femoroacetabular impingement in athletes?
  12. What are the current treatments for gluteal tendinopathy?
  13. Does the size of the subacromial space influence shoulder impingement syndromes?
  14. How do stretching and joint mobilization affect ankle passive range of motion?


July Research Round-Up: Vibration Training Edition

The S&C Research review service comes out on the first day of every month. Here is a preview of the July 2015 edition, which comes out on Wednesday. Each edition covers a wide range of exciting new research but this edition has a special theme of vibration training.

Vibration training is a novel method of athletic or rehabilitation training that uses a vibrating piece of equipment to cause oscillations in muscles while a trainee either holds a static position or performs exercises. It has been proposed as a supplemental means of improving strength, power and flexibility. It generates strong opinions in the fitness industry: some coaches consider it to be a worthless fad, while others regard it as an valuable tool in certain situations. As always, the research shows a more complex picture. Fortunately, some new studies help shed a clearer light on the subject.

Does vibration training improve performance in athletes?

The study: Small and inconsistent effects of whole body vibration on athletic performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis, by Hortobágyi, Lesinski, Fernandez-del-Olmo, and Granacher, in European Journal of Applied Physiology (2015)

What did the researchers do?

The researchers perform a meta-analysis to explore the acute (immediate) and chronic (long-term) effects of whole body vibration on athletic performance in competitive and/or elite athletes. The effect of the training method was assessed by pooling the data and calculating an overall effect size.

What happened?

The researchers found that whole body vibration has small and inconsistent acute and chronic effects on athletic performance in competitive and/or elite athletes. Pooled percentage long-term improvements in leg strength, leg power, and flexibility were 14.6%, 10.7% and 16.5%, respectively. Despite these large percentage changes, however, the effect sizes measured by Cohen’s d ranged from 0.44 to 0.61 and were therefore classified as small.

To see how a more careful interpretation of the studies included in this review might lead to a more informed conclusion, pick up a copy of the monthly review HERE so you can read Chris Beardsley’s editorial.


Does vibration training increase blood flow?

The study: Whole-body vibration and blood flow and muscle oxygenation – a meta-analysis, by Games, Sefton, and Wilson, in Journal of Athletic Training (2015)

What did the researchers do?

The researchers performed a meta-analysis to explore the acute effects of whole-body vibration training on muscle oxygenation and peripheral blood flow in healthy adults. The effect of the training method was assessed by pooling the data and calculating an overall effect size.

What did the researchers find?

The researchers found commercially-available whole-body vibration training increased peripheral blood flow (effect size measured by Hedges g = +1.179). Studies in this meta-analysis included vibration machines that used both vertical and horizontal vibration directions, application times ranging from 0.5 – 15.0 minutes, and vibration frequencies of 5 – 50Hz. No changes in muscle oxygenation were observed, however.

Are the EMG signals recorded during vibration training measuring real effects?

The study: On the nature of the electromyographic signals recorded during vibration exercise, by Xu, Rabotti, and Mischi, in European Journal of Applied Physiology (2015)

What did the researchers do?

The researchers set out to identify whether the controversial muscle activity signals that are typically recorded using electromyography (EMG) during whole-body vibration training are merely motion artifacts or whether they are genuine vibration-induced neuromuscular activity.

What happened?

The researchers found that the EMG amplitude of the vibration frequency was small during the tests designed to identify the existence of motion artifacts. Such signals accounted for only 3.3% and 7.6% of the levels achieving during the test designed to capture the effects of vibration training. This suggests that the EMG signals observed during whole-body vibration training are indeed caused by a reaction of the muscles to the vibrations and are not motion artifacts. Why the muscles react to vibrations in this way is unclear but the mechanism could well involve the muscle spindles, which are a key part of the stretch reflex.

To learn more about the possible role of muscle spindles in the mechanism by which vibration training could be effective, pick up a copy of the monthly review HERE so you can read Chris Beardsley’s editorial.


Get the full review!

The Vibration Training edition comes out on Wednesday. It is packed full of 50 study reviews covering a range of topics relevant to strength and conditioning and physical therapy professionals alike and only costs $10 per month. Sign up by clicking below!


June Strength & Conditioning Research Questions

Hi fitness folks! Do you know the answer to the June S&C research review questions? If not, you ought to subscribe to our research review service. To subscribe, just click on the button below and follow the instructions…


Strength & Conditioning, Power and Hypertrophy

  1. Is training a muscle 1 day or 3 days per week better for resistance-trained males?
  2. Is training under hypoxic conditions better for hypertrophy and strength?
  3. Can BFR training improve strength and size in athletes?
  4. Do people prefer to perform resistance training at imposed or self-selected loads?
  5. Can tensiomyography differentiate between different types of workout?
  6. Is force production symmetry similar in different tests?
  7. What is the best type of training for improving sprinting ability in amateur athletes?
  8. Can kettlebells improve strength, power, and endurance?
  9. Can an HIIT program using kettlebells and battle ropes improve body composition?
  10. What types of warm-up are best for improving jumping performance?
  11. What types of warm-up are best for improving throwing performance?
  12. Does breaking up static stretching into 10-second repetitions alter its effects on sprinting?

Marianne Kane Fass

Biomechanics & motor control

  1. Can adding elastic bands to the deadlift increase rate of force development?
  2. How do lifting straps affect the performance of the deadlift?
  3. Are the hamstrings less important than the gluteus maximus during back squats?
  4. How does altering load and speed affect energy expenditure during squats?
  5. Which is the limiting joint during a failed squat?
  6. How does spine flexion and erector spinae strength affect squat jump height?
  7. How does hamstring muscle activity alter across multiple sets of Nordic hamstring curls?
  8. What are the characteristics of faster athletes in tests of multidirectional agility?
  9. Does residual force enhancement occur in vivo in humans?
  10. How do joint angles and muscle activity alter when habitually shod runners run barefoot?
  11. How does the starting degree of hip flexion affect muscle activity in the prone hip extension?
  12. How do pelvic position and vibration frequency affect muscle activity during quiet standing?

Joey Percia & Andrew Serrano

Anatomy, Physiology & Nutrition

  1. Is autophagy adaptation associated with changes in muscle fiber type?
  2. Do capillary adaptions occur faster in hypertensive patients?
  3. How does resistance exercise timing affect your sleep?
  4. What cardiac remodeling occurs after exercise?
  5. Does caloric restriction increase gut permeability?
  6. Can interval training help regulate appetite?
  7. Does caloric restriction reduce the adaptions to resistance training in the obese elderly?
  8. Does oxytocin reduce caloric intake in men?
  9. Can creatine supplementation improve squat and leg press performance?
  10. Is tendon cross-sectional area associated with muscle volume?
  11. Can anabolic steroids enhance hypertrophy from resistance training in older women?
  12. How does anabolic steroid usage affect heart rate, blood pressure and muscle damage?
  13. What macronutrient ratios do competitive bodybuilders eat?
  14. What are the typical results of training for a natural bodybuilding contest?

Eric Helms

Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation

  1. Can instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization improve flexibility?
  2. Can foam rolling plus static stretching improve flexibility more than foam rolling alone?
  3. Do novice runners get injured more often than recreational runners?
  4. Are internal or external cues better during ACL injury rehabilitation?
  5. Which hamstring muscle is most frequently injured and where?
  6. Do platelet-rich plasma injections after hamstring strain reduce the risk of re-injury?
  7. Are joint angle movements different in athletes with previous hamstring injury?
  8. Can a step-wise physical therapy program help patients with patellofemoral pain?
  9. Does hip muscle strengthening help patients with patellofemoral pain?
  10. How common is intervertebral disc degeneration in the Vietnamese?
  11. Can breathing techniques increase hip flexion range of motion?
  12. Does long-term stretching cause changes in the viscoelastic stress response?
Goblet squat

Diana Lugo